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Mamelodi Sundowns

COMMENT: How Mamelodi Sundowns' new signings have fared thus far

11:24 GMT 29/12/2018
Lebohang Maboe, Mamelodi Sundowns, August 2018
Masandawana have been on a rebuilding mission, and Goal looks at the progress of their new recruits thus far

Mamelodi Sundowns ended the year in fifth place on the Premier Soccer League table and booked their place in the Caf Champions League group stage.

While failure to win the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup has raised some eyebrows, it has arguably been a rebuilding mission for Pitso Mosimane and his team.

Ahead of the 2018/19 season, instrumental players such as Khama Billiat and Percy Tau both parted ways with the club as they looked to take up greener pastures, leaving a massive void.

Mosimane immediately went into the market and brought in several new faces, and  Goal looks at how these new signings have progressed thus far.  

 Toni Silva

The Guinea Bissau international was a surprise capture by Mosimane but was rather astute. Silva is a versatile winger who can also play as a striker, and this has come in handy following Sibusiso Vilakazi’s injury.

However, due to the stiff competition at the club in front of goal, Silva has not experienced as much game time as he would have liked. The 25-year-old has made seven appearances netting just a solitary goal.

Silva though has the potential to be a key figure for Sundowns especially on the continent, but it all depends on his ability to stay fit and continue to work hard.

 Lebohang Maboe

A signing that has certainly strengthened the Tshwane giants. When Maboe first made his move, there was much scepticism that he was perhaps ‘throwing away’ his career. But to his credit, he has taken his football to the next level. The 24-year-old has netted three goals in the league in 11 appearances.

This form has seen him become a stalwart of Mosimane’s side whether on the continent or on the domestic scene.

 Phakamani Mahlambi

One of the most highly anticipated signings of the July/August transfer window, after a short stint in Egypt with giants Al Ahly.

Just one goal in eight league games is hardly anything to get excited about but the 21-year-old just needs time to adapt to the rigours of playing for Sundowns. Mosimane knows that while he has brought on board Mahlambi, this is just a detour as the Bafana Bafana international is destined for a place in Europe.

Reyaad Pieterse

This had to be among the most surprising moves of the transfer window. Pieterse claimed that he was looking for more game time which had many scratching their head in puzzlement, considering that the club already had Thela Ngobeni, Kennedy Mweene and Denis Onyango fighting it out for the No.1 jersey.

Pieterse has proven though that he is not scared to put in the hard work and was rewarded with four appearances in all competitions. But the fact that he has conceded six goals already will be a cause for concern.

Mosa Lebusa 

With the signing of the versatile defender from Ajax Cape Town, Mosimane was looking to the future.

It took a while before the 26-year-old was fit enough to feature for Sundowns, but he has since shown signs of promise as Lebusa has done well to partner Rivaldo Coetzee as well as offered cover in the left-back position.

With the Nedbank Cup, Caf Champions League and the PSL to contend with in the new year, Lebusa will be expected to play an even more important role.

 Andile Jali

Much was expected as the midfield general returned to South African football. But while he is slowly returning to his best. Jali’s progress was reportedly marred by alleged off-field issues.

However, Jali looks to have since put his demons aside and has made a total of 12 appearances this season, giving the Sundowns technical team another option in his midfield to call upon.  

 Lyle Lakay 

Mosimane signed Lakay with the intention of converting him from a winger to a full-back. This has worked wonders and the 27-year-old appears to be the club’s first choice left-back overtaking Tebogo Langerman.

Not only has Lakay been solid defensively but having recently scored against SuperSport United in the Tshwane Derby would have delighted fans and the technical team.

 Jose Ali Meza 

The Venezuelan joined Sundowns as a relative unknown but has not had the same impact as fellow South American Gaston Sirino just yet.

He netted an impressive eight goals in 12 games for his previous club. But he has not had much luck at Sundowns thus far.

Mosimane though is aware that it will take time before Meza acclimatises to South African football, and will be optimistic considering what he has seen in the Caf Champions League as Meza has already registered two goals.